Tom Starley Consultancy

Page structure, language and don’t be afraid to sell!

Here we are, part 2 in my mini-series talking about the secrets behind the best converting landing pages. Last time we covered off on the importance of a well defined target audience, validating and honing in on your niche and setting aside time for making great content. This time I’ll be discussing selling, content structure, goals and use of language, so let’s move on to points 6 through to 10!

6. Don’t be afraid to sell what you do on the page!

You’re throwing everything you have at your product, (or at least you should be if you want it to work!) but imposter syndrome is a thing and it can prevent us shouting about what we are good at. Some people find selling in person an uncomfortable situation, they might feel they are not worth what they are charging or in the early stages even fear that they may struggle to provide what they are selling (but give yourself a break, you have to start somewhere!) This same thinking can permeate your site but it’s very simple, if you don’t sell, you won’t sell… so bloody sell!

If you have an issue with the ethics of selling an not entirely polished product, just make sure you do absolutely everything in your power to satisfy the client. Show them their faith wasn’t misplaced – no one can ask for more than that. As your product improves you’ll become more adept at selling it so don’t shy away from it, but make sure you do good work and use white hat techniques.

7. Craft content that sells around a structure.

This is a huge and very interesting topic, content is not only an art but a science. There are strategies that can be used to ensure the reader is engaged at the right time in the right place leading to increased conversions. Ensuring you connect with your reader is vitally important on any sales page.

Here’s a couple of the basics: Your content is not what you do as a business (e.g. I this, We that) but what problem you solve for your user. Concentrate on the emotional benefits that your product brings and the problems it solves, not the cool technical features.

The order in which your content is presented massively affects conversion. You want your prospect to relate to you every step of the way. They need to be thinking “Hey! This product is speaking to me!” To do that, you need to tell a story, a story that enlightens them.

Here’s a simple structure (that I’ve used with great success) when creating content and structuring the layout of a page:

  1. Tagline section – Your unique selling point presented as a benefit (more on this in my next post.)
  2. Social proof section – e.g. Helping 24,000 users doing X. Or 98% users love our product.
  3. Problem section – Explain the problem and articulate the pain the user is going through, they need to relate.
  4. Extrapolate section – Further explain the negative consequences if the problem isn’t fixed. Fix X problem now or it will cost you X in the future.
  5. Testimonial section – Proof that your product is respected by others. Clan mentality, don’t miss out etc.
  6. Solve the problem section – Now the prospect is invested, explain how you solve their problem using benefits. E.g. Uncover how to increase conversion in 1 week with these 5 top tips.
  7. Prove and delight section – Prove you can fix your potential customer’s problem with stats and further testimonials. Leave the prospect delighted with your product by seeing glowing endorsements like “I saw a 70% increase in X when using product X, and their customer support rocks!!”
  8. Call To Action section – Now your prospect is emotionally invested and revved up, ask for what you want, the sale, an email address, a sign up to your product etc.

This is one method of many that can be used to coax people into engaging with your product. It’s great because there is a clear beginning middle and end, just like a great story! The more the upfront potential financial outlay to the user, the greater the pitch needs to be. For example if you’re a SaaS business offering enterprise software at a cost of £100,000+ a pop, you’re going to need to nail your online pitch. If you provide a free app with in app purchases, there’s less perceived risk to rationalise out before the prospect might think “hummm let’s give this a go.”

8. Have only one page goal (seriously. Just one.)

I fancy some chocolate, so I walk into a shop and head to the sweety aisle. I stop and look as every chocky bar competes for my attention, their shiny wrappers glinting in the light… Crunchies are good, but I do love a Fruit & Nut and there’s the Bounty. We’ve all been there, unable to or taking slightly longer than anticipated to make a decision. The next day I get home from work and my wife has bought me a Crunchie…Score! I eat it. No thinking needed.

Pages that present multiple goals are notoriously confusing for the viewer as they have to stop and think. A certain amount of thinking is obviously needed but the less thinking the user has to do to convert the better.

Make sure your website isn’t the sweet aisle, keep it focused and distraction free. 1 page = 1 goal. Build your content around 1 purpose and 1 call to action and reap the benefits!

9. Consider your tone of voice.

This is quite subjective and depends on your product but also your target market. The tone of your content should closely align with your target audience. Ideally tone should be positive, engaging, empathetic and welcoming but your business may have a unique circumstance (undertaker perhaps) that prevents you from being overly informal.

Do think on it, it’s important to sound relatable and like a real person. Creating a content guide is a useful exercise that helps you examine the style of content not only for your site but also for your blog. Here’s a link to my content vision/style guide that I use for my blog. Here’s also a link to MailChimp’s content/style guide which is amazing.

10. Avoid jargon and insider language.

It puts people off in a big way, it even puts off people in the same industry. There’s a misconception that if my site sounds clever it will impress. In reality this just alienates people, often the very people you’re trying to attract. Back away from the thesaurus and write in a style that everyone can relate to, you’ll see huge results.

Phew! We’re halfway there ladies and gents, instalment 2 of my mini-series revealing the secrets behind the best converting landing pages – complete! Thanks for sticking with me this far. Don’t forget to make sure you subscribe – with two more posts crammed full of useful tips on the way, you don’t want to miss out. I’ll be talking trust, mobile, empathy and more.

See you on the other side!

Hi, I'm Tom! A UX/UI specialist and founder. I'm passionate about increasing conversion and revenue for growing online companies through expert UX/UI design and consultancy.

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